2020 What Car? Reliability Survey: family SUVs

In our exhaustive annual survey, we reveal how dependable cars up to five years old are, based on the experiences of 13,000 owners...

BMW X1

Most reliable family SUVs

1. BMW X1 petrol (2015-present)

Reliability rating 98.1%

What went wrong? Non-engine electrics 5%, air-con 3%, exhaust 3%, interior trim 3%

If you want a dependable X1, pick a petrol model. Just 8% of petrol-engined X1s suffered a fault, compared with 25% of diesels. All of the cars we were told about remained driveable and were fixed in less than a week, and all work was done for free.

Owner’s view “After two years, my car still looks and feels like new. It’s been 100% reliable and the build quality is excellent”


2. Skoda Karoq petrol (2017-present)

skoda-karoq-2020-review

Reliability rating 97.9%

Although petrol Karoqs suffered more faults than diesels (14% versus 7%), the petrol versions could all still be driven, unlike two-thirds of diesels. The petrols took less time to repair, too. Engine and non-engine electrics were the main troublespots, followed by a small percentage of issues with interior trim. All of the affected cars could still be driven; four out of five were repaired in less than a week, and all work was done under warranty.

Vauxhall Mokka X 1.4T Ecotec Elite

Reliability rating 97.7%

Owners told us that 19% of Mokkas went wrong, with engine electrics and the exhaust the main areas of concern. All of the troublesome cars remained driveable and two-thirds were rectified in a day or less. Even better, all work was done for free.


Least reliable family SUVs

1. Range Rover Evoque (2011-2019)

2014 Range Rover Evoque review

Reliability rating 82.8%

What went wrong? Bodywork 12%, brakes 12%, engine electrics 8%, non-engine electrics 8%, air-con 6%, engine 6%, battery 2%, fuel system 2%, infotainment/sat-nav 2%, suspension 2%

The original Evoque isn’t ageing well, with owners telling us 35% of their cars have gone wrong in the past year. Around a quarter were rendered undriveable and more than a third took more than a week to put right. While 95% of the remedial work was done for free, a small percentage of repair bills ranged from £300 to more than £1500.

Owner’s view “Reliability has been atrocious; I’ve had problems with oil dilution into the engine and particulate filter failure with no warning”


2. Nissan Qashqai (2014-present)

Nissan QASHQAI 1.5 DCI 115 ACENTA PREMIUM 5DR

Reliability rating 87.0%

Few of the cars we were told about had a higher proportion of faults than the Qashqai, with 40% of them going wrong. The battery and non-engine electrical systems caused the most problems, followed by the brakes, exhaust and interior trim. Most of the stricken cars could still be driven, but more than a quarter spent a week or longer in the garage. On the bright side, four out of five of them were fixed for free and no repair bills topped £300.

Jaguar E-Pace front

Reliability rating 88.4%

E-Pace owners reported that 22% of their cars had suffered a fault, with the engine and its electrical components being the main culprits. There were also issues with non-engine electrical systems, including the air-con and infotainment, and some problems with the brakes, gearbox/clutch and fuel system. Although two-thirds of the afflicted cars could still be driven, a third languished in the garage for more than a week. While 93% of repairs were done for free, a small percentage of owners paid up to £750.


Reliability for family SUVs aged up to five years old

Rank Make and model Score
1. BMW X1 petrol 2015-on 98.1%
2. Skoda Karoq petrol 2018-on 97.9%
=3. Vauxhall Mokka petrol 2012-2019 97.7%
=3.  Mercedes GLA 2014-2020 97.7%
5.  Volvo XC40 petrol 2017-on 97.5%
=6.  Suzuki SX4 S-Cross 2013-on 96.7%
=6. Skoda Karoq diesel 2018-on 96.7% 
=8. Kia Sportage 2016-on 96.4%
=8. Volvo XC40 diesel 2017-on 96.4%
10. BMW X1 diesel 2015-on 95.6%
11. Hyundai Tucson 2015-on 95.3%
12. Volkswagen Tiguan petrol 2016-on 94.9%
=13.  Volkswagen Tiguan diesel 2016-on 94.3%
=13. Seat Ateca 2016-on 94.3%
15. Audi Q3 2011-2018 92.8%
16. Peugeot 3008 petrol 2017-on 91.5%
17. Peugeot 3008 diesel 2017-on 89.8%
18. Vauxhall Grandland X 2018-on 89.5%
19. Audi Q3 2018-on 89.0%
20. Range Rover Evoque 2019-on 88.7%
21. Renault Kadjar 2015-on 88.6%
22. Jaguar E-Pace 2017-on 88.4%
23. Nissan Qashqai petrol 2014-on 87.7%
24. Nissan Qashqai diesel 2014-on 86.1%
25. Range Rover Evoque 2011-2019 82.8%

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